Skip to Content

NMSU’s Robert Carpenter suspended for punching Liberty player in the face

Photo Courtesy: NMSU Athletics

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - New Mexico State has suspended forward Robert Carpenter indefinitely for punching a Liberty player in the face during Thursday's game.

The incident happened during the first half of the game.

Carpenter was seen throwing a punch striking Liberty forward Shiloh Robinson in the face.

Robinson fell to the ground and was treated by medical staff.

Carpenter was issued a flagrant foul 2 and was quickly ejected from the game. 

NMSU would go on to win the game in overtime, 79-73.

Friday, NMSU Athletics officials released a statement about Carpenter's suspension from the team.

The statement is as follows:

"Following careful consideration of the events that transpired last night, New Mexico State Athletics has made the decision to indefinitely suspend Robert Carpenter from all team activities effective immediately. Per the NCAA's rules of conduct, any player involved in an altercation during competition is required to serve a one-game suspension, however, we feel it is important to emphasize that the Aggie men's basketball program places the utmost priority on the values of sportsmanship and respect and feel that an indefinite suspension is necessary.
 His actions do not align with the standards we uphold at New Mexico State, and we believe it is important to ensure that any actions contrary to our principles will not be tolerated.
 We will continue to work closely with our coaching staff, players, and support personnel to reinforce the importance of responsible conduct both on and off the court. We remain committed to creating an environment where our student-athletes can thrive academically and personally.
 We appreciate the continued support of the men's basketball program and the athletics department. We remain focused on the future and the positive contributions our student-athletes bring to our institution."

NMSU head basketball coach Jason Hooten issued the following statement Friday:

"I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to Liberty University and Coach McKay for the actions of Robert last night. Throughout my 14-year career as a head coach, I have consistently upheld a high standard of conduct, and something like this has never taken place within my programs nor is this acceptable. Robert is a good kid. Unfortunately, he showed some poor judgement during the game and made a mistake. I believe he is a high-character guy as are all the guys that we bring into this program. Last night, Robert had the opportunity to meet with the Liberty student-athlete involved in the incident, offering a face-to-face apology. Robert has also since apologized to his teammates and the community for his actions.
 We will continue to support Robert academically and we will revisit the extent of the suspension in the near future."

Carpenter also issued a statement of his own via social media Friday:

"I want to apologize to Shiloh Robinson and to the Liberty basketball program. I also want to apologize to my teammates, and to all of Aggie Nation for my actions on the court last night. That's not me. That's not who I am as a person. I let my emotions get the best of me and I let my team down. I'm sorry."

The NMSU basketball program has been under the microscope the last couple of years.

In 2022, NMSU basketball player Mike Peake, shot and killed a University of New Mexico student a day before the the team's scheduled basketball game.

Authorities ruled Peake acted in self defense and he was never charged.

And in 2023, the men's basketball program was shutdown midseason due to allegations of hazing within the program.

Three former players are now facing criminal charges.

The hazing incident led to the firing of head coach Greg Heiar.

Every player from that season's squad left the program.

Jason Hooten was hired, and is in the middle of his first season at NMSU.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content